Class of Istanbul – Where are they now?

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Liverpool’s fifth European Cup victory, May 25th, 2005, in Istanbul.

The Reds overcame a 3 goal half-time deficit to defeat Italian side AC Milan on penalties.

‘Original202’ from the TLW forums takes a look at those men who were instrumental in the win and the road to Istanbul to find out where are they now?

With a few exceptions, almost everyone involved has seen a big decline in their career, which isn’t that surprising, but it does underline what a fine achievement it was.

Jerzy Dudek

DudekAfter his heroics in Istanbul, Jerzy made just 12 more appearances for Liverpool. 8 of these came in the league deputising for Pepe Reina when he was suspended in 2006 after breaking Arjen Robben’s neck and getting the odd run out before Champions League games and in end of season dead rubbers. Injuries denied him more opportunities, with a dislocated shoulder forcing him to miss the 2005 Super Cup win, but he did pick up FA Cup and Community Shield winners medals in 2006. Injuries meant he also missed domestic cup matches, though he did feature in heavy defeats to Arsenal in the FA Cup (1-3) and the Carling Cup (3-6) in January 2007. After announcing he would be leaving in the summer of 2007 he was denied the opportunity of playing in front of the Kop for one final time after picking up another injury.

He joined Real Madrid in 2007 to be understudy to Iker Casillas, citing the opportunity to learn a new language and study a new style of football as his main reasons. He has played a total of 11 games for Madrid, with just 1 in the league, and looks likely to move clubs in the summer.

His lack of games in the last 5 years has cost him his place with the Poland national side, missing out on the 2006 World Cup and 2008 European Championships.

Steve Finnan

Finnan remained a regular with Liverpool for 2 years after Istanbul and started both the 2006 FA Cup and 2007 Champions League finals. In 2007 Alvaro Arbeloa was signed and Finnan started to share the role of right back. A combination of Arbeloa’s emergence and Finnan’s age lead him to seek pastures new in 2008 and he joined Espanyol. His time in Spain was a big disappointment however as injuries limited him to just 4 appearances and the change in lifestyle and language proved difficult. In 2009 he returned to the Premier League with Portsmouth, signing a one year deal. His injury problems continued but he has been a regular in 2010, playing in 3 of their FA Cup ties and certain to start the final against Chelsea, but he faces an uncertain future as his contract expires this summer.

Jamie Carragher

CarraCarra remains the rock at the heart of Liverpool’s defence and has been a regular since Istanbul, missing just 10 league matches in the last 5 years. His continued presence has seen him rise to 7th in the club’s all time appearance records and top of the charts in terms of European matches – impressively all of his European appearances have come from starting matches with none as a substitute. Carra has also been prolific in front of goal since Istanbul, doubling his goals tally.

In 2007 he announced his international retirement, but he did feature in the 2006 World Cup and could yet feature in this year’s with Fabio Capello hoping to bring him out of retirement.

A testimonial will be played against Everton in September 2010.

Sami Hyypia

Sami was given a fond farewell in May 2009 as he left the club to join Bayer Leverkusen with whom he has had an impressive first season. Missing just 7 league matches and scoring twice to help the team to a 4th place finish which will see them compete in next seasons Europa League.

SamiHyypia remained a regular for Liverpool until the start of the 2006/07 season when Daniel Agger emerged into the first team – Agger was preferred to Hyypia in the 2007 Champions League final. Martin Skrtel later arrived to add more competition but injuries to both gave Hyypia more opportunities, featuring 44 times in 2007/08 with notable performances in the Champions League run to the semi finals and a trademark bullet header against Arsenal in the quarter finals.

The 2008/09 season saw Hyypia’s opportunities limited, and he was even omitted from the original registration list for the Champions League. Despite the limited appearances in his last few years Hyypia remains 20th in the list of all time appearances for Liverpool. He has also continued to captain Finland, reaching 100 caps, but remains 31 appearances behind Finland’s most capped player – a certain Jari Litmanen

Djimi Traore

TraoreDespite much speculation about his future with Liverpool, Djimi stayed for another season but found his opportunities limited, though he did make the subs bench for the 2006 FA Cup Final. Later that year he joined Iain Dowie’s revolution at Charlton but got off to a disastrous start as he was sent off on his debut and would later concede a penalty against Liverpool. He made just 13 appearances before moving to Portsmouth in the midseason transfer window.

Things didn’t get much better at Portsmouth, making just 13 appearances in 2 seasons. Sandwiched in between was a loan spell at French club Rennes, and later an emergency loan deal saw him help seal Birmingham’s promotion back to the Premier League. He is currently enjoying a spell at midtable Monaco and has since doubled his career goals tally which now stands at 2.

John Arne Riise

RiiseRiise is currently the subject of transfer interest from Newcastle and also Fulham. But for the time being he is a Roma player, and a very popular one. He has scored an impressive 8 goals in Italy and played a big part in Roma’s title challenge.

He left Liverpool in disappointing circumstances, with one of his last acts being a last minute own goal against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League semi finals and he was left out of the matchday squad on the final home day of the season, thus missing out on a chance to say goodbye at Anfield. He continues to be a regular starter and goalscorer for Norway.

Prior to his final season, Riise played a big part in the 2006 FA Cup win, scoring 3 goals en route to the final and converting his penalty in the final shoot out. He also amazed everyone in 2007 by scoring with his right foot to defeat Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

Luis Garcia

Little Luis continued his knack of scoring in big games in the 2005/06 season, scoring in the Super Cup final and tormenting John Terry and William Gallas once again to smash home in the FA Cup Semi final win over Chelsea. He missed the final however after getting himself sent off in an end of season game against West Ham. Later that summer he played for Spain in the World Cup.

Lil LuisHe would make just 26 appearances in his final season as a serious knee injury curtailed his season. His final game turned out to be the 3-6 defeat to Arsenal in January 2007 and he joined Atletico Madrid 6 months later. He enjoyed a decent first season, scoring 3 times in 35 appearances but found himself out of favour the next, making most of his appearances from the bench – including a late substitute appearance in the Champions League at Anfield, but struggled to make the match day squad in the second half of the season.

He is currently playing at relegation threatened Racing Santander, in La Liga, but things haven’t improved for him. He has started just 4 times and featured as a substitute 11 times, but is yet to score.

Harry Kewell

SicknoteKewell’s injuries continued to haunt him in 2005/06 as he was forced off the pitch in a cup final for the 3rd time in 2 seasons against West Ham. But he did manage to play his part in Liverpool recording what was then the club’s highest Premier League points tally in 2006.

He featured for Australia in the 2006 World Cup, scoring a crucial goal against Croatia, but returned to Liverpool injured and a familiar story followed throughout the season, though he did feature as a substitute in the 2007 Champions League final. His final appearance for the club came in the home defeat to Barnsley in the 2008 FA Cup and he has since joined Galatasary, where despite more injury problems he has an impressive goalscoring record of almost a goal every other game.

Kewell will be playing at the 2010 World Cup. Injury permitting.

Steven Gerrard

Stevie GGerrard followed the 2004/05 season with one of his finest years to date, winning the PFA Player of the year and scoring 23 goals, largely playing from the right of midfield. His goals included 2 in the “Gerrard Final” at Cardiff which made him the only player to have scored in the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League finals. It could have turned out very differently however as the summer of 2005 saw him come very close to a move to Chelsea.

The summer of 2006 saw him finish as joint top scorer for England at the world cup. The following season was less spectacular but in 2007-08 he formed a lethal partnership with Fernando Torres which continued into the next season which finished with Gerrard being crowned 2009 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year. He was also named MBE in December 2007.

Xabi Alonso

XabiAlonso featured in the cup finals of 2006 and 2007 and became known for scoring goals from his own half thanks to efforts against Luton and Newcastle. He also played and scored for Spain in the 2006 World Cup. The arrival of Javier Mascherano and Lucas, and an aggravating metatarsal injury limited his appearances in 2007/08 but he featured for Spain in their victorious Euro 2008 campaign, including playing 27 minutes as a substitute in the final and would then enjoy his best season in a Liverpool shirt, despite being made available for transfer with Gareth Barry being targeted as his replacement.

His fine season prompted interest from Real Madrid who he joined in the summer of 2009 where he has become a key player. He scored his first goal from the penalty spot in February 2010 after taking the ball off Ronaldo. He remains in with a chance of winning La Liga with Madrid and will feature for Spain in South Africa this summer.

Milan Baros

BarosMilan Baros has wound up at Galatasary with Harry Kewell after short spells at Aston Villa, Lyon and Portsmouth. He had a decent first season at Villa under David O’Leary but was out of favour under Martin O’Neill and he left to join Gerard Houllier’s Lyon, where he made headlines for driving his Ferrari at 168mph rather than his goalscoring, scoring just 7 times in 28 disappointing games over 2 seasons. He returned to England in January 2008 for a loan spell with Portsmouth and failed to score in 16 appearances, but did feature in their FA Cup Final win as a late substitute.

He has been a prolific scorer in Turkey, scoring 26 times in 43 matches in his first season. His second season was interrupted by a broken foot but he has still managed 16 goals in 24 appearances.

His international record for the Czech Republic remains impressive, but the Czech’s missed out on qualification for South Africa.

The substitutes:

Scott Carson

CarsonScott Carson featured in the early rounds of the FA and Carling Cup in 2005/06 and featured in some Champions League qualifiers as well as being named as a substitute in the 2005 Super Cup, but was loaned out to Sheffield Wednesday in the second half of the season. Season long loan spells at Charlton (who were relegated) and Aston Villa followed but an error for England in the Euro 2008 Qualifier against Croatia in 2007 proved to be a major setback for him and his transfer value plummeted. He was sold to West Brom in 2008 for £3.25m, but they were relegated. He has remained a regular this season.


Whilst not gatecrashing parties and celebrations Josemi can be found playing for Mallorca who have an outside chance of Champions League qualification for next season, but will definitely at least be playing Europa League football. He has started 26 games this season, getting sent off once. He arrived at Mallorca via Villarreal after a swap deal which saw Jan Kromkamp come the other way, but his opportunities were limited. Though he still celebrated with gusto the club’s impressive second place finish behind Barcelona in 2008 – Josemi had played one game that season.

His last appearance for Liverpool was on Boxing Day 2005 as a late sub against Newcastle.

Igor Biscan

EEEgorIgor was released in the summer of 2005 and joined Panathinakos where he spent 2 seasons. He got off to an impressive start scoring 3 times in 26 appearances, but suffered a major loss of form in his second season and he was released.

After taking a 6 month break he rejoined the club where it all started for him: Dinamo Zagreb. Unconfirmed reports suggest the Police stopped the Zagreb traffic for him as he made his way to training on his first day back. Biscan took over the club captaincy from the departing Luka Modric and he has helped them to 2 league titles and 2 domestic cups, though he made just 5 appearances in 2009-10 after suffering a career threatening injury to his pelvis.

Antonio Nunez

Crazy Tony left Liverpool in the summer of 2005 and joined Celta Vigo where he was a prominent figure. He scored 2 goals in his first season with them, including 1 at the Bernabeu as Celta beat Tony’s first club 3-2, to help secure their La Liga status. In his second season his options were limited as the club looked to consolidate their position with new players and he complained of a lack of first team opportunities. Celta were relegated and Nunez found more opportunities with them in the second division, scoring 5 times in 40 appearances before securing a move to Murcia, also of the Spanish second division.

He is currently playing for Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot first division who finished 3rd in the league and will play in the Cypriot cup final this weekend. Tony has scored once for them and despite living in Cyprus he remains the palest Spaniard ever.

Dietmar Hamann

DIDI!Hamann’s last job for Liverpool was to put away his penalty in the 2006 FA Cup final shootout. He then agreed to join Bolton, but later realised he’d be playing under Sam Allardyce and opted instead to join Stuart Pearce at Manchester City. His first season was difficult as he struggled with injuries and couldn’t find his form whilst playing in a struggling team. Sven Goran Erikksson took over in 2007 and Hamann became a more prominent member of the team but found himself once again out of favour under Mark Hughes. He was released in the summer of 2009 and after much reported interested in him, including an offer from Notts County in league 2, he ended up unable to find a club.

One of the best and most important players from 2005, he recently took up a role as player-coach at League One side MK Dons.

Vladimir Smicer

SmicerVladi joined Bordeaux in the summer of 2005, after sadly revealing to TLW’s Red Nick that nobody else was interested in him, but injuries hampered his time there. In the 2006-07 season Bordeaux were drawn against Liverpool in the Champions League but Vladi missed out on a return to Anfield due to another injury. Serious injuries forced him to consider retirement and he missed the 2006 World Cup.

After recovering he returned to his first club, Slavia Prague to a heroes welcome. He helped the side to the domestic title but again had many injury problems. He eventually hung up his boots in November 2009 and took up a coaching role with the Czech national team.

Djibril Cisse

CisseCisse enjoyed a decent goalscoring season in 2005/06 despite often filling in on the right side of midfield, sharing the role with Steven Gerrard. His season finished with him scoring in the FA Cup Final and a move to Marseille seemed imminent, but he broke his leg in a World Cup warm up match for France. He ended up moving there on loan and he signed permanently a year later. He was in decent goalscoring form scoring 37 in 78 matches including 2 goals in the 2007 French Cup Final against Sochaux, which they ended up losing 5–4 on penalties, after a 2–2 draw – the game went into extra time thanks to a Sochaux equaliser from Anthony Le Tallec.

Cisse then moved to Sunderland on loan, scoring 11 times in 38 appearances but the move wasn’t made permanent and he instead joined Panathinaikos where he has found the net 29 times in 45 games – enough to earn him a recall to the France squad with a good chance he may make it to the World Cup.

Management and coaching staff:

Rafael Benitez

RafaBenitez’s cup success continued in 2005/06 with the Super Cup and FA Cup being brought to the Anfield trophy cabinet, and later the Community Shield. League form improved in 2006 but tailed away in 2007 and 2008, though a further Champions League final appearance softened the blow. A runners up spot in the league in 2009 was followed the next year by a 7th place finish with considerable doubt over whether he’ll keep his job. In the last five years he’s also grown a beard.

Pako Ayestaran

Pako Ayestaran, for so long Rafa Benitez’s right hand man, left the club in Autumn 2007 after a breakdown in the relationship. He has since returned to Valencia.

Alex Miller

Alex left Liverpool in May 2008 to take over at Japanese side JEF United Chiba, who had picked up just 2 points from their opening 11 games but he guided them to safety. Despite the strong finish and his ambition to take the team in to the Asian Champions League, poor results followed in the next season and his contract was terminated in July 2009. He was linked with the vacant managers job for the Scottish national side when George Burley left but he remains unemployed.

Jose Ochoterana

Goalkeeping coach José Ochotorena left the club in July 2007 and to return to Valencia.

Paco Herrera

Paco Herrera left the club in the summer of 2006 and and joined Espanyol as Technical Director. He resigned in February 2009 after much criticism of the players he’d brought in and took over at Castelon during the 2008/09 season but his stay was short lived and he is now the manager of the Villarreal B team.

Dave Galley

Dave Galley left as physio in Liverpool in peculiar circumstances in the summer of 2005. Reports suggest a disagreement with Rafa Benitez. He left to join Derby and has since worked at Bolton and Wigan. He returned to Liverpool in June 2009 to be the academy’s head physio.

Other notable contributors:

Neil Mellor

MellorMoved to Preston after a brief loan spell at Wigan. Injuries have held him back and he now finds himself surplus to requirement as Darren Ferguson looks to change things.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle

SinamaCan now be found at Sporting Lisbon after spells at Blackburn (loan), Recreativo de Huelva and Atletico Madrid. Featured as a late substitute for Liverpool in the 2006 Community Shield.

Anthony Le Tallec

Now at French club Le Mans after spells with St Etienne, Sunderland and Sochaux.

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